Kerala CM to request Centre to declare Ockhi cyclone a 'national calamity'

ANI | Updated: Dec 02, 2017 23:32 IST

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], December 02 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has decided to ask the Centre to declare the Ockhi cyclone as a 'national calamity'.

Vijayan took to his Twitter handle on Saturday to inform about the same and further wrote that the chief secretary has been entrusted to prepare the memorandum in this regard.

"KERALA govt has decided to ask the Union government to declare the Ockhi cyclone a national calamity. The Chief Secretary has been entrusted to prepare the memorandum in this regard. #CycloneOckhi (sic)," he tweeted.

The Indian Coast Guard stated that the cyclone Ockhi, which has originated from Kanyakumari on November 29, has moved towards Lakshadweep islands and has intensified into 'severe cyclonic storm' with wind reaching up to speed of 60 to 70 km.

"The cyclone has wrecked havoc on South Kerala with severe damage to coastal areas and has endangered lives of fishermen operating at sea," the Coast Guard informed in a statement.

Earlier in the day, India Meteorological Department claimed that cyclone Ockhi would intensify in the next 36 hours and move Northwest in the next three to four days.

"Cyclone circulation lies over South-West bay of Tamil Nadu, also well marked low pressure area over south Andaman sea and neighbourhood is persisting. Low pressure expected to intensify over next 36 hours expected to move in 3-4 days in North West direction. This situation is being monitored," director of Chennai's Met department told ANI.

Cyclone Ockhi has lashed the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Saturday with torrential rainfall and gusty winds.

Seven people, five in Trivandrum and one each in Kollam and Kasaragod districts, have died till now. (ANI)

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